Unfortunately with their finger pointing, four are back at them: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tm...=/cpress/20040602/ca_pr_on_na/nafta_pollution Canada lags behind U.S. in curbing toxic emissions, says NAFTA report Wed Jun 2,12:15 AM ET DENNIS BUECKERT OTTAWA (CP) - Canadian industrial plants released 2.7 million kilograms of chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects and other reproductive harm in 2001, says a new report by the NAFTA environmental agency. The annual Taking Stock report, drawn from submissions by more than 20,000 polluters in the United States and Canada, shows that Canada is lagging the United States in curbing toxic pollution. Although total North American emissions declined by 18 per cent from 1998 to 2001, Canadian emissions rose three per cent. As in previous years, Ontario was the third-biggest polluting jurisdiction on the continent after North Carolina and Ohio, says the report by the Commission for Environmental Co-operation. The electricity sector was the biggest source of toxic pollution in North America, mainly from the use of coal at generating plants. The sector accounted for 45 per cent of total emissions, including 43,384 kg of mercury, which can affect fetal and childhood development. Canada's poorer record in curbing toxics is probably due to the lack of federal air-quality legislation, William Kennedy, executive director of the commission, said in an interview. The U.S. Clean Air Act sets binding regulations for air polluters, but Ottawa depends mainly on voluntary and negotiated agreements. Kennedy said the future of North American air quality is clouded by the increasing use of coal, which is dirtier than oil or natural gas. "The indications are that coal-fired capacity is expected to account for 40 per cent of all new additions in the United States. "In Canada there have been five new coal-fired plants announced for operation in 2006, all of these in Alberta. If we're looking for good news in trends, this is not particularly comforting." Although there has been a lot of talk about clean coal technology, Kennedy says there's no such thing. "It sounds good but I think coal by its nature is not a clean fuel source." Mark Winfield of the Pembina Institute said the data in the report are not reassuring, even though total North American emissions to air, water and soil have decreased over the past decade because of cuts on the U.S. side. "Even with the decline, the amounts being released are still remarkably large given that these are substances known to cause human health effects." The list of chemicals known to cause "cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm"is drawn from the State of California, which has the most rigorous system for assessing toxic chemicals. The commission was set up under the North American Free Trade Agreement to soothe fears that free trade would lead to a decline in environmental standards.